Last summer I read an article about gardening that suggested vegetable-gardening neophytes start with radishes. Apparently, they're low-maintenance and hard to kill. Of course, the article concluded, no one actually eats radishes.
"Hey!" I addressed the magazine page angrily.
Radishes are one of my favorite vegetables, and have been since I was a child. I have a very vivid memory of munching on raw radishes and turnip slices while watching the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland on VHS. To this day, I love raw radishes with the tiniest pinch of salt, sliced and eaten with dip instead of chips or crackers.
I have yet to try growing my own radishes—partly because plants kind of scare me, but mostly because I can get beautiful local radishes for a mere 50 cents a bunch! As we move into July, I'll be sauteing them with local peas for a perfect "I-don't-really-feel-like-cooking,-but-I-want-something-cheap-and-tasty" summer supper.
Summer Spaghetti with Radishes and Peas
2 bunches radishes, trimmed and sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp dry vermouth
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper, to taste
8 oz. frozen peas*
8 oz. brown rice spaghetti
Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Meanwhile, saute radishes and garlic in oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until garlic begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
Add vermouth, salt, pepper, and frozen peas. Cook another 4 or 5 minutes, until radishes are tender and peas are warmed through.
*You can use fresh peas here, of course. Just add them at the very last minute, after the radishes have turned pale pink.
Taste for salt, and serve immediately over hot spaghetti.